I’m in the middle of the Harvest Season here at the moment. I’ve already conducted one service in Pontefract, at a church where I used to be the minister, and I’ve got plenty more to come, including a Harvest on the Farm this Sunday. It is very difficult for “townies” to associate with harvest as very few of us have any real links with the soil. Supermarkets with constantly refreshed and stacked shelves is what we have come to expect without acknowledging much of where that food has come from, or whether an item is in or out of season.
To many a Harvest Celebration seems terribly old fashioned, nothing more than a bit of nostalgia. Yet people who work the land know how fragile the supposed abundance can be. Disease, weather or ill health can all decimate the future store house, and leave the farmer feeling vulnerable. Harvest provides the stewards of the land an opportunity to give thanks to God for another crop gathered in. We can of course join in that celebration, but harvest doesn’t stop there. It is our opportunity to appreciate our plentifulness throughout the year. To stop once a year and to value what we have is a good thing. This then leads us on to pray for those whose harvest has suffered or whose situation is difficult throughout the world.
So above is my little attempt to say a prayer for the diversity of our store cupboard now and throughout the year. The base image was taken by Alan M Barker via Twelvebaskets.